Brief roundup of 2019 so far.
Due to a busy work / real life schedule this year, we haven’t attended many events and this is the first update for the website. Here is a quick round up of 2019 so far, up until the last weekend in August and Carfest, this will be covered in a seperate post.
Westonzoyland At War 25th – 26th May
Due to work commitments, we weren’t all able to attend this event, but two of our members attended, put on a display and represented the group.
As one of our members has recently acquired an aircraft, Percival Provost , which he is restoring, he was displaying his newly acquired aircraft, which is stored at Westonzoyland airfield, while it is being worked on.
Here is the current aircraft, minus its wings, which are stored separately.
This is what it would have looked like when it was flying.
The Percival P.56 Provost is a basic trainer aircraft that was designed and manufactured by British aviation company Percival.
During the 1950s, the Provost was developed for the Royal Air Force (RAF) as a replacement for the Percival Prentice. Designed by Henry Millicer, it was a single-engined low-wing monoplane, furnished with a fixed, tailwheel undercarriage and, like the preceding Prentice, had a side-by-side seating arrangement. First flying on 24 February 1950, the prototypes participated in an official evaluation, after which the type was selected to meet Air Ministry specification T.16/48.
The Provost entered service with the RAF during 1953 and quickly proved to be more capable than the preceding Prentice. It was a relatively successful aircraft, being exported for multiple overseas operators. Various models were developed, both armed and unarmed, to meet with customer demands. The Provost later adapted to make use of a turbojet engine, producing the BAC Jet Provost. During the 1960s, the type was withdrawn from RAF service in favour of its jet-powered successor. It continued to be used for decades after with various export customers.
There were lots of other groups displaying and even some aircraft that flew in for the weekend.
Rowcroft Garden Party
On Sunday 9th of June we were invited to put on a small WW1 display for the Annual Rowcroft Garden Party, raising money for Rowcroft hospice. We set up our WW1 display in the grounds and spent a lovely afternoon amongst supporters of the Rowcroft Hospice.
Over £6000 was raised which goes toward funding Rowcroft’s vital services across 300 square miles of South Devon, caring for over 2000 patients every year. You can read more about Rowcroft hospice here Rowcroft Hospice History
National Trust Greenway House D-Day event 6th June
On 6th of June we were invited to Greenway House to put on a D-Day display. Greenway house is owned by the national trust but was formerly owned by the famous murder mystery writer Agatha Christie, although its history goes back a lot further than that. More information can be found here Greenway.
Greenway was requisitioned during World War Two and used first to house child evacuees, and then from 1944 to 1945 by the US Coastguard in the run up to the D Day landings.
Torbay Armed Forces Day 22nd June
This year after it looked like it wasnt going to happen at all, we booked ourselves in for Torbay Armed Forces day. We decided that this year we would focus on Post-War, so 1950 onwards, including both Malayan conflict and National service, as we all had family connections to these events and also we knew there were lots of veterans, who served during these years, living in Torbay.
The weather was perfect and the crowds turned out to see it. We were 5 deep at some points during the day and we got to meet a few Malaya veterans who told us some great tales of the their days.
Andy turned up to show off his Post-War Nuclear, Biological and Chemical Warfare equipment.
Torbay Steam Fair 2nd, 3rd and 4th August
Torbay Steam Fair this year was to focus on the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Our display would be focusing on the British Airborne troops that landed on D-Day in Normandy and the French Resistance that helped by sabotaging German communications, destroying supply lines and guiding troops around the area.
A German trench system was dug and a Landing craft turned up, complete with Americans, poised for a beach assault.
We had a mortar pit dug to provide covering fire and lay down a smoke screen for the assaulting troops. This was the first time we had properly blank fired the 3 inch mortar and it didn’t disappoint.
The steam fair opened on the Friday, but was quite quiet, due to most people being still at work. However the Saturday and Sunday was very busy. We joined in the military display of the D-Day beach assault demonstration, on both Saturday and Sunday afternoon. Both displays went off with a bang, literally, and was very well received by the public.
On the Sunday, our junior member represented the group in the arena display. Dressed as French resistance, he cycled his way around the arena, on a WW2 bicycle, which was tough going due to the long grass.
This year we lost two of our close Steam Fair friends, who have attended or helped run the show over the past years. We said Goodbye and paid our tributes to Phil Moores and Mike Phillips.
Again another fab time at Torbay Steam Fair and cant wait till next year when we will be celebrating V.E. Day and V.J. Day.
Royal British Legion Paignton Branch VJ day ceremony at Roundham Gardens Paignton 15th August
For the 3rd year in a row, we attended the Royal British Legion, Paignton Branch’s small ceremony, to commemorate VJ day, at the Torbay Burma Star Association Memorial, in Roundham gardens, Paignton.
We were very lucky to be joined by a Burma veteran, who was 17 when he was sent out to fight in Burma. Hopefully we will be able to attend next year when it is the 75th Anniversary of Victory over Japan and the end of all hostilities in the second world war.
More to follow with our latest event CarFest 2019………